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Heavenly Dessert Bakery & Cafe goes brick-and-mortar 

Side Dish

Brick-and-macaron

The nearly 2-year-old Heavenly Dessert Truck will still frequent Curbside Cuisine (curbsidecuisinecs.com), 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays. But the exciting news from co-owner and potent pastry chef Stephanie Van Wuffen — a Palmer High School and UCCS grad who studied at Denver's Johnson & Wales University — is her new brick-and-mortar operation, The Heavenly Dessert Bakery & Cafe (3475 Pine Tree Square, Suite D, heavenlydessertsco.com).

That new retail arm will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, serving sweets but also lunch sandwiches and full espresso bar offerings. Van Wuffen says the morning hours deliver items like banana bread, croissants, sticky buns, biscotti, petite scones and donuts such as the best-selling brown butter pistachio. The grilled sourdough sandwich lineup incorporates Old School Bakery bread plus meats from Ranch Foods Direct, as well as some organic items and a house-made herb butter. Look for a barbecue pork and Gouda; apple Brie and chipotle raspberry jam; and Swiss turkey green chile sandwich, among others.

Coffee beans come courtesy of local roaster Spanish Peaks, and the new space has also allowed for an overall expansion of desserts. Find new cakes by the slice and items like traditional French macarons, along with the likes of tarts, brownies and cookie sandwiches.

A better Boulangerie

Local bread wizard Shawn Saunders, the man behind Sourdough Boulangerie (2901 N. El Paso St., 645-2905) inside Ranch Foods Direct, has recently upgraded his offerings.

He's still buying grain from Platteville's Bay State Milling Company and Monte Vista's Mountain Mama Milling, but he's switched to their organics. He's also acquired a mini stone flour mill to produce more one-offs from various grains, soon.

Several months ago, Saunders also stopped using commercial yeasts and began baking solely with his own sourdough starter across the board. One beneficial aspect of that, he says, is that his sourdough base begins breaking down the wheat so our bodies can process it more easily. The bread's sugar content drops on the glycemic index so it affects blood-sugar less, making it a better option for those struggling with diabetes or hyperglycemia.

"I've even had people sensitive to wheat who've been able to eat it for months now," he says.

Those breads are available at both RFD's market and Manitou Springs' Local First Grocer, and you'll see them on local menus ranging from Brother Luck Street Eats to the Skirted Heifer. Saunders also recently released an interesting Circle It: Sourdough Bread Facts Word Search Puzzle Book available on Amazon.

A future goal, he notes, is to open his own bakery front fueled by a new wood-fired oven, to be incorporated into the upcoming Colorado Springs Public Market project.

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